countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more scflyout Furniture All-New Kindle Explore the Vinyl LP Records Store sports Tools Registry

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Mass Market Paperback|Change
Price:$10.33+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on September 28, 2014
The first trilogy in this series was based on an interesting premise and, while flawed, it generally succeeded.

But in the second trilogy, it's clear that the author is just filling pages and much of the writing is simply weak. It feels cobbled together and without purpose, and Donaldson's writing feels like he's meandering aimlessly trying and failing to deliver emotional impact.

Large stretches of the book are dedicated to lengthy narratives of the main characters agonizing over their respective angsts. But the writing is foggy and wordy and fails to generate emotional impact.

The primary challenges and conflicts in the novel feel completely arbitrary, and the resolution to these crises persistently resort to blatant 'deus ex machina'.

The reader's wait to discover the sense underlying the novel never ends . The climax of the book can summed up as, "and then things got better".

Donaldson would have been better to write a new series,
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 30, 2004
THE WOUNDED LAND is a rich, and somewhat difficult book. It was certainly wonderful to return to the Land, but the book is by far the bleakest of the entire two trilogies. Donaldson clearly had to up the ante to make the book worth reading (and writing), so the despair that has befallen the Land is pretty dire.
Also, even though we get to revisit Covenant, we are 4000 years in the future of the land, and all the beloved characters we came to know in the first trilogy are gone. Donaldson does manage a brief, ghostly appearance by some of them, but they are missed. After all, Covenant is aptly named an ANIT-hero, and he is tough to like. So Donaldson, while also showing us how horrible things have become in the Land, has to also give us new characters to care about.
This time, Covenant brings someone with him from our time, the doctor Linden Avery. But she carries lots of baggage herself, and is also tough to warm up to...although she brings out a soft side in Covenant which is sorely needed. The author does a good job of introducing new characters to join on the new quest to save the Land from Lord Foul's machinations. Sunder and Hollian, two villagers who have learned all the history of the Land incorrectly, have their eyes opened to the truth by Covenant, and their plight of realization and acceptance is quite emotional. The character of Vain, a creature developed by the ur-viles to help Covenant, is fascinating and holds many secrets. I won't tell you too many more, because the book holds some delights in store.
But it isn't easy. The first half of the book feels a bit repititive, as Covenant and his growing band struggle to cross the Land to Revelstone (echoes of the first book), and we kinda get the point early on that it isn't easy going. But things really pick up once Covenant goes to Andelain and then on to Revelstone. There are some exciting chase scenes, one in particular dealing with The Grim, a malevolent "happening" sent to destroy the group from the false lords of Revelstone.
Donaldson has become an even more florid writer. His vocabulary is formidable...mine ain't too bad, but there is at least one word per page that leaves me scratching my head as to its definition, and I swear he's just made up a few. You can tell what they mean by the context, but they are distracting. He doesn't believe in subtle feelings...these characters are going through earth-shattering events, and they don't feel things mildly. They are torn, "riven", etc. etc. I still love the books, but sometimes it is a bit much.
If you've read the first trilogy and liked it or loved it...then you MUST read further. If you haven't read the first trilogy, don't start here. Go back to Lord Foul's Bane. And if, by some chance, you didn't care for the first trilogy, I don't think anything here will change your mind. You either love the Land and Donaldson's way of taking you there...or you don't and won't.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 19, 2003
The Wounded Land is the first book in the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. In the first excellent trilogy, Covenant ultimately triumphed over the evil Lord Foul and brought centuries of peace and prosperity to the Land. Unfortunately, Foul was not destroyed, only forced to retreat and lick his wounds for a while. But surprisingly, Foul finds a way to strike at Covenant in his own world. This leads to Covenant returning to the Land, accompanied by a rather bitter and serious woman named Linden. Sort of a female version of Covenant I guess, but unlike Covenant her strength stems from a couple tragic childhood events that hardened her to emotion.
Covenant returns to the Land (where about four thousand years have passed) to find it shockingly wasted, as if the Apocalypse itself had hit it. The change was caused by the Sunbane, a sinister creation of Foul's. Covenant spends half the book just trying to figure out what the heck went wrong and how he can turn things around. Fortunately he finds that he can unleash the wild magic at will, or at least whenever he's upset (sort of like Nynaeve's channeling block in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series).
Each book of the first trilogy had a major resolution at the end. The Wounded Land is difficult to evaluate on its own because there is no real resolution or even climax. About two thirds of the way through the book, Covenant's party embarks on a major quest that clearly will not be completed by the end of the novel. The ending isn't really climactic, but merely segues nicely into the sequel The One Tree.
Donaldson's pace is generally slower in this trilogy than in the first one, but that's not to say that The Wounded Land doesn't contain plenty of action. Covenant barely escapes death a few times. The times when he uses the wild magic are exciting moments, and Donaldson is skillful at quickly heightening dramatic tension. Covenant's stay at Revelstone and his discoveries there are a high point in the novel. The page-turning trek through the treacherous Sarangrave Flats recalls the similar quest of the Bloodguard in The Illearth War.
I haven't read the two sequels yet, but this second trilogy is looking great so far! Highly recommended for fans of simple fantasy with a dark flavor to it.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 4, 2003
Thomas Covenant is again summoned to the Land in "The Wounded Land", the first book in the 2nd Chronicles. This time is different though, not only is his return to the Land rought with difficulty and suprises, but someone else has been summoned with him. Linden Avrey, a doctor, is brought into the strange land with Covenant. Together, they face a land that is nowhere close to what it used to be.
Covenant is shocked by what he sees. It has been 10 years since he had been to the Land. But time in the Land passes quicker, and by that time, it has been 3 1/2 thousand years.
Lord Foul has been at work. He was hurt in the last series, but he was not defeated. He is back and his touch is felt almost everywhere. Earthpower is seriously lacking. Covenant can't believe what he sees.
But, with the help of Linden and a few other friends. He begins a trek to destroy Foul once and for all. The first book relays his suprise with the Land and his thoughts on how to fix it.
Donaldson does it again. A great peice of Fantasy.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 29, 2002
Stephen Donaldson was brought impressive power to the page in his first chrinicles of Thomas Covenant. He surpasses himself with the second chronicles, maturing the story and characters allowing the reader to feel as infected as the land he describes. In the second Chronicles Thomas Covenant returns to the land in a dramatic blaze of fire summoned by his old enemy Lord Foul. He finds the land has changed int he time he has been away. The beutiful and healing land Donaldson created in the first set of books has been replaced with a warped and diseased place ruled by the Sun Bane nad controlled by the Clave. Both these are the work of Lord Foul who has corrupted everything that made the land a place to love and cherish. If you have ever wanted to know what it would be like if the bad guy won here is your chance to find out. This is the first of three books in the second chrinicles all of which are superbly written and gripping pieces of literature.
Recommendations, The Price of Immortality was a very enjoyable read that kept me guessing through out.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 16, 2000
Don't let this characterization fool you: I find the world of Hobbits fascinating and wonderful fare, but Donaldson manages to combine the harsh reality of flawed adulthood with the magic of fantasy. The damned of the Chronicles are truly damned, brought down by their own desires rather than some simplistic evil orientation. The heroes struggle both for righteousness and with themselves. Yet for all the dark ambiguity, the beauty of The Land makes you ache to see it and agonize for its pain. This is grownup stuff, escapism that never totally leaves our world behind.
The introduction of Linden Avery opens another compelling view of a most seductive place. Unlike Covenant, whose struggles to justify and continue his existence wound himself and all who care for him, Avery is a link to our world who soldiers on with her mission of mercy. She doesn't let the shock of her arrival in The Land destroy her role of healing, yet the Second Chronicles is very much the story of how she finds personal peace as well as purpose with practicing her profession in a very sick world.
It's hard to believe that this saga could sustain a second trilogy, especially with volumes of this length -- but it does. If your bookshelf has a place for mature fantasy, make room for the Second Chronicles.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 5, 2000
Stephen R. Donaldson takes a bold step in 'The Wounded Land' by allowing the existence of 'the Land' to trickle out into the real world. He then transports not only Thomas Covenant there, but also a new character 'Linden Avery' who offers a different perspective to the adventures they subsequently encounter. Thomas Covenant in this series seems more at ease in the Land, and less resistive to the event transpiring around him. Linden is confused by it, and endures her own personal turmoil throughout the series. This time the Land has declined to a low ebb, filled with suffering and death. The people have long forgotten their technology of living with the land, and have been demoralized to an unthinkable level by comparison with the first series. Perhaps this is the authors subtle expression and symbolic account of the decay in our own present society reflected in this fantasy world? It certainly carries with it a great deal of truth when you examine the comparison. Nevertheless, Donaldson continues his expertise with his incredibly creative characters and magical beings. He interweaves a great mix of plots and subplots and ties this series in at various points to the previous one, making it a very interesting and exciting story. This is the second chronicles of Thomas Covenant ( I recommend reading the first series before starting on this one), and it sets the stage for great adventure in the following two books. You will really become a Donaldson fan with this series, and find yourself engrossed within its pages. A great book and a very good story.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 15, 2000
First off, if you haven't read the first Thomas Covenant trilogy (Lord Foul's Bane, The Illearth War, and The Power that Preserves), I reccomend you do that first. Mainly, it's an amazing an tremendous work. Also, you'll get a lot of background that is necessary to appreciate the second trilogy, and it's hard to really feel Covenant's sense of loss and despair at the despoiling of the Land without having seen it when it was beautiful.
The Second Trilogy of Thomas Covenant is very different thematically from the first. The question of dream vs. reality is disposed of almost immediately in The Wounded Land (and arguably it was just a plot trick in the first trilogy anyway, so we could comfortably both despise and sympathise with Thomas Covenant). All that the Council represents has been shattered and the strength of their convictions must now be restored by Thomas Covenant and a few friends. He must come to terms with what he has lost, who he is, and what the Land truly meant to him. Linden Avery, his new companion from the real world who is drawn in when Covenant is summoned, is herself a flawed character - but she is a product of events she could not control. In a reverse of the original trilogy, the story of her anguish, the truth she must come to terms with, and her role in the fate of the Land is drawn out slowly, over the course of all three books.
This second trilogy is more personal than the first. In the first trilogy Thomas Covenant is profoundly influnced by the Land and all the people around him, and must reconcile their strength with his own anguish, eventually confronting his own failings to earn redemption; in the second everything the Land was, is lost. Linden and Covenant must personally struggle to restore it despite their own weakness and imperfection, with the help of a group of wandering Giants, the always loyal but subtly changed Bloodguard, and two natives of the Land. Wheras in the first book we know Covenant has a latent power which if he could only discover and unleash, he could defeat Foul, in the Wounded Land Covenant's power is growing out of control and any release could shatter the Arch of Time and give Foul victory - effectively rendering Covenant's White Gold powerless.
Everyone must make tremendous sacrifices in their struggle to see the land restored, and the final resolution in White Gold Wielder is amazing, thrilling, tremendously moving, and ultimately incredibly satisfying - making these books arguably the greatest work of fantasy literature ever written, eclipsing even the remarkable works of Tolkien for depth and power.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 26, 1999
Wow. I'm sorta at a loss for words here. I can't really describe how strongly I feel for this book and the series that follows it. This is Donaldson in top form, even topping the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. His violation of the Land and the introduction of Linden Avery, not to mention making good ole Tom a little more sympathetic (though just as pained as ever...don't you worry about that) make this series one notch better than what I had thought was perfection. If you have a dark spot in your soul, this will make you FEEL more than anything you could imagine previously. The only small flaw there is, which doesn't take away from the book at all, so it may not BE a flaw, is Donaldson's tendency to use an "extended" vocabulary. While I don't mind painting pictures with intricate words, I believe that using "chiaroscuro" and "glode" is stretching it. (look those up, as you'll need them several times per volume).
If you're looking for other "Dark Fantasy," and I mean the Real Stuff, not the *!@#$ Stephen King and the like try to pass off as it(avoid dark tower like the plague), try Neil Gaiman's Sandman(and then his everything else...if you don't feel comfortable with comics, at LEAST read Smoke & Mirrors and Neverwhere), and read Michael Moorcock's Elric Saga(pretty much Thomas Covenant sans the leprosy, but with a soul-sucking sword and yet another debilitating disease).
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 8, 1998
The Wounded Land is an apt title for this book. For those who have read the First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, this sequel trilogy is as stark a contrast as one author can offer when creating new ideas on a familiar subject. If you are unfamiliar with the first chronicles, I strongly recommend you go read it first to fully appreciate this contrast. Donaldson seeks to create a feeling of revulsion for something loved that has been violated in a way the reader could not imagine or be prepared to face. The living Land is dieing, rotting before the people who live for it. The biggest shock is for the lepor who has come to love the Land, not just for the renewed vibrance it gave him, but because of what it has done to the people. Life, love, evil, vileness, hope and sacrifice are intertwined in a heart wrenching, emotional roller coaster. A must read for Donaldson fans. Some may feel betrayed by the intentional devastation of the Land. Some may feel thrilled by the new adventure. At any rate, be prepared to FEEL!!!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items